Case Study Backgrounder

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Filed under: Canright Writers' Blog

Case Study Backgrounder

Case studies are influential marketing tools that help a company spotlight and promote its products or services, and can greatly increase credibility with potential customers. A well-written case study illustrates how a specific problem was identified and resolved. The key is to adequately research your case study topic and make sure to ask, and then answer, the right questions.

Here is an outline and a list of questions we use in drafting case studies. Note that it’s comprehensive to handle long detailed articles and elicit interesting responses. We shorten list of questions to fit story requirements.

  • Case Study Subject Background
    • Organization’s name
    • Mission of organization
    • Products or services offered
    • Capsulated history
    • How long a client? (if applicable)
    • Products and services offered by our client used by the case study company
    • Overview of IT environment (for IT case studies)
    • Company website (divisional website, if appropriate)
    • Grabber: Why would I know this company? (example: “ABC Company launched the initial tool to solve this problem or has dominated its business segment for so many years. “)
  • Challenges
    • What are the case study’s main challenges? Which can be addressed by our client? Which can be influenced indirectly by working with our client?
    • What goals did the case study company have regarding resolution of challenges?
    • Interviews with client product managers and case study decision makers: why were products or services a good fit?
    • Were challenges noticeable to the public or to end-users, or just internally or financially?
    • If case study had done nothing, what would have happened?
  • Solutions
    • What did the case study do? How was it implemented?
    • What are success stories from implementation?
    • What were the problems that client helped the case study overcome?
    • What was the process and time to implement solutions and bring online?
    • Impact on marketing, sales, operations, finance?
    • What was most attractive about the client’s products or services?
  • Costs
    • What was the cost of solutions?
    • What people were involved?
    • How long did the project take?
  • Benefits
    • What benefits did solutions offer?
    • How easy is the operation with the new product or service in place?
    • Who can tell the difference?
  • Results
    • Enhancement of market position, customer retention, customer satisfaction, internal attitudes, cost savings, etc.?
    • How have the client’s products exceeded expectations?
    • What was unexpected surprises? Any “good news” surprises?
    • Data on results? (preferably data that can be charted into a visual)
    • How has the case study’s perception of the client changed?
    • Which of the client’s programs and products did the case study use?
    • Learns, such as, “Are online billing customers more profitable?”
    • Growth, grounded in data, such as change in number of customers or accounts, revenue, profit, market ranking, changes in product line, customer retention rates, etc.
    • Key learns?
    • Which of the client’s products or services worked best?
    • Has client’s product helped to retain clients? Attract new clients?
    • What’s next?